3 moves that would make the Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals contenders

Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

1. Trade for Deandre Ayton or a different starting center

The Mavs tried to trade for Deandre Ayton on draft night, but the talks fell through as Phoenix reportedly didn't like what Dallas was offering at the time. Now it's time to revisit those talks, turn these trade rumors into a reality, and get the former No. 1 overall pick.

In his first five seasons with the Suns, Ayton averaged 16.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and one block per game. He is a top-10 center in the NBA and would give Dallas the best center they've had in a long time.

Ayton can protect the rim, dominate down low, and rebound at a high level. Dallas needs all three of those things, and Ayton could be the answer. If Dallas can get him without giving up Josh Green or Jaden Hardy, they should do it.

The Mavericks now have two second-round picks from the Grant Williams sign-and-trade to work with, and they should use at least one of them in this deal.

Mavs ayton trade

**Sign-and-trade: Dallas' Christian Wood agrees to three-year, $27 million contract with Phoenix.

This trade package is more than the reported draft night package, but Dallas' truly isn't giving up too much in this trade. Yes, losing Maxi Kleber is a big blow in this trade, but adding Ayton would be worth it. JaVale McGee is a salary dump at this point, and sign-and-trading Wood is better than losing him for nothing.

Dallas could also form a different package that includes Tim Hardaway Jr. if he doesn't get traded elsewhere.

Dallas also has P.J. Washington in this scenario (my first listed move Dallas should make), and he would overtake Kleber's spot in the starting lineup anyways. The Mavs could also consider adding a player like Dario Saric to lessen the blow of losing Kleber. They also have Olivier-Maxence Prosper coming in as a rookie and should be able to contribute off the bench.

In my opinion, Dallas would be Finals contenders if they make these three moves. They'd finally have a starting big and have big, versatile wings. Dallas doesn't necessarily need a star big like Ayton, so they could also consider using a similar package to acquire someone different.

Potential starting lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Grant Williams, P.J. Washington, Deandre Ayton

Stay tuned to see what other moves the Mavs make and if they can turn this dream starting five into a reality.